Health care, social services and education employ more people in Gila County than any other industry. According to the 2000 census, 3,538 of the 18,051 people employed in the county at that time, worked in some aspect of those fields.
The largest portion of those were employed in northern Gila County, according to Judy Baker, executive director of the Mogollon Health Alliance. "We have the hospital, Payson Care Center, Rim Country Health, Powell House, Hospice, the physicians, dentists, physical therapy people and Rim Guidance."
The 2005 statistical profile of Payson, prepared by the Office of Health Systems Development in the Arizona Department of Health Services, shows a total of 392 people directly providing health care services. The number does not include the administrative and support staff at the hospital, skilled nursing facilities or in the private offices of doctors and dentists.
Payson wages for people in the health care industry are comparable to other places. "We have to be or we would be losing our people," Baker said.
Health care services are continuing to grow in Northern Gila County. The Payson Regional Medical Center made a significant investment in technology in 2005 to improve its services to the community and has an ongoing remodeling program to enhance its facility for the benefit of its employees and clients, said Cory Houghton, director of marketing for PRMC.
The Chief Executive Officer of PRMC, Chris Wolfe, will speak on the economic impact of the health care industry from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Payson Public Library, hosted by the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation. Also participating in the Feb. 28 program will be Sue Myers, superintendent of the Payson Unified School District and Fire Chief Marty deMasi. Call (928) 468-6659.